Irving, TX – The Boy Scouts of America delayed making a decision on whether to lift a ban on gay members and leaders, saying the issue would be raised at the national meeting in Grapevine, Texas in May.
Deron Smith, director of public relations for the Boy Scouts, said in a statement:
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.”
Smith said the national executive board would prepare a resolution for the 1,400 voting members of the organization to consider.
As we have previously reported, the organization announced that it would be making a decision to end the ban on gay membership this week. Citing its principle to be “morally straight” — pun, apparently, intended — the organization has prohibited gay and lesbian children and adults from participating for over 100 years.
Most local Boy Scout governing councils are sponsored by religious and civic groups. Ending the ban to admit gays would occur on an organization-wide basis, but it would be up to these smaller councils to decide whether the allow gay troop members or leaders.
Not everyone supports ending the gay ban. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has written at length about his experiences in the organization, has said that he hopes the board “will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make Scouting this very important and impactful organization.” Perry also said, “To have popular culture impact 100 years of their standards is inappropriate.”
President Obama, however, has said the organization should drop its ban because “gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life.”
Do you think it’s time for the Boy Scouts to admit gay people into the organization?